Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France

Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France

Book Description

Early in 1788, Franz Anton Mesmer, a Viennese physician, arrived in Paris and began to promulgate a somewhat exotic theory of healing that almost immediately seized the imagination of the general populace. Robert Darnton, in his lively study of mesmerism and its relation to eighteenth-century radical political thought and popular scientific notions, provides a useful contribution to the study of popular culture and the manner in which ideas are diffused down through various social levels.

Paperback available from Harvard University Press.

Table of Contents
  • 1. Mesmerism and Popular Science
  • 2. The Mesmerist Movement
  • 3. The Radical Strain in Mesmerism
  • 4. Mesmerism as a Radical Political Theory
  • 5. From Mesmer to Hugo
  • 6. Conclusion
  • Bibliographical Note
  • Appendix 1. Mesmer’s Propositions
  • Appendix 2. The Milieu of Amateur Scientists in Paris
  • Appendix 3. The Société de l’Harmonie Universelle
  • Appendix 4. Bergasse’s Lectures on Mesmerism
  • Appendix 5. The Emblem and Textbook of the Sociétés de l’Harmonie
  • Appendix 6. An Antimesmerist View
  • Appendix 7. French Passages Translated in the Text
  • Index
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